Friday, September 28, 2007

Florence

I had this crazy idea before my open studio celebration for the Florence Biennale thing the other night. I took an old body form and primed her with gesso. Then I wrote “Florence” across her chest like a tattoo. I used her as a guestbook and called her my “guest bodice”. I wanted a body form that was more realistic in shape…droopy boobs, saggy bottom…but I had to settle for this Barbie-esque styled one instead. Nevertheless, she was a huge hit as everyone lined up to sign their name and write their comments.

My gallery rep is married to a darling older gentleman named Harry. He came up to me that night and said that he signed my guest bodice for me but that he felt it was a bit “risqué”. He told me that I might have trouble reading his signature because his hand was shaking so. How cute is that?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On the Verge

This piece is called "On the Verge" (28" x 48" / oil on panel). I feel like I am always on the verge of something. So far, I have found that to be an accurate assessment. It's difficult for me to stay in the now. I'm a big picture girl. But I have been told more than a half dozen times in the last week to "take one day at a time." So...even though I feel like I am on the verge of something big...I'm going to give that "one day at a time" thing a try. Life can be overwhelming, you know?

I have been crazy busy getting ready for the Florence Biennale. I have finished my pieces and today I'm packing them up in my custom made crate (thank you Rick & Bryan!!). On Friday, I had over 100 of my closest friends and clients over to view the work before it is shipped. It was a blast. I feel so honored to have such great support.

Although the pieces will be shipped this week, I won't leave for Italy until the day before Thanksgiving, so I have time to paint a lot of small pieces for an open studio sale in November. (I need to support my Brunello habit, you know.) I'm excited to work small again. It's been a while.

This will be an art trip, but I am bringing along two of my dearest friends. (Can you say girl trip?) We're going to have a great time, I'm sure. Until then...I continue to paint.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Time sure flies...

Well, I just had to share: my little boy is all grown up and out on his own. We adopted Nate when he was brand spank'n new, almost 22 years ago. We located his birth mother right before his 21st birthday. It's been fun getting to know her and her family. They are awesome people. Just to be able to hug her and thank her for such a precious gift was over the top amazing for me.
He is a handsome dude, yes? I sure think he is. He was such a cute baby and I have inhaled absolutely every second of his life. Hard to believe it, but tonight is his first night in his own apartment. Nate is a senior at EWU getting his biology degree with a pre-dental option. He intends on becoming an orthodontist. I couldn't be more proud of this kid. He totally rocks, in my book. Go get'em Nate! You've got it all, baby.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Port of Placement
©2002 Kathleen Cavender

Nevermind the past
With its darkened moon
And days of smoke and mirror
You will melt the wax
Of its stubborn lines
When the petals fall from bloom

Not the dawn of owls
But the breath of doves
Will hear the heart of dreamers
It will see the path
Of a thousand days
Til the fire of moments come

Oceans of salt can’t change things
While your reflections tell stories
Still the wound sings sharp
There’s no wind to cool
And a stone is placed aside

But there is sweet release
Where the song will rest
On crystal seas of purpose
So let the river rise
When it calls your name
And your port of placement comes

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Nurturing Yourself for Art’s Sake

What is your passion? Whether it is a career choice or a hobby, it has to be nurtured in order to grow. Obviously, our culture contains enough distractions for a life to exist from beginning to end without really living it. You could spend an entire lifetime just watching TV or surfing the Internet and completely miss out on your real purpose. Have you ever asked yourself what your purpose in life is?

My art career consumes my life, but mostly in a good way. There are times when it can burn me out. That is to say that, when added along with several other things in life, it can burn me out.

Right now I am dealing with some heavy things in my personal life. After almost 34 years of raising children, I will become an empty nester. This is a good thing. Our son, who we adopted at birth when his two sisters were in their teens, is a great kid. He’s almost 22 and a senior in college. It’s time. I’m excited for him. But I have to be honest and say that it feels weird and gives me some anxiety.

Someone I love with all of my heart has a terminal illness. There is no cure or treatment. We have been very close for most of my life. I will do all I can to offer comfort and support, but I have a great awareness of my helplessness in this situation. I have no control over it.

I am getting ready to exhibit in Italy. That feels pretty huge. I also am considering opening a school of painting. I meet with one of the investors today. Big, big, big! These are just a few of my stress points. Good and bad.

I am grateful for my close friends. They comfort me. We share each other’s burdens. Life is hard. I think it’s supposed to be. Growth is a messy business.

One of my dear friends recently said, “When you board an airplane with children, the flight attendant instructs the parent to put their oxygen mask on first.” In other words, you are of no use to help others if you don’t take care of yourself first.

My artwork is secondary to my family, of course. But it is a part of my life that I need to take care of…just like a child. I need to nurture it. But I first need to take care of myself. If I don’t, I will be of no use to it. I will feel tired and stressed. Exasperated. Burnt out.

Today, I plan to take as much time as I can to breath in deep and to nurture myself so that I have what I need to nurture my art and those God has placed in my life. I need to take care of myself. I hope you are taking care of yourself too.